Stop the press! A handsome Japanese journalist has overshadowed the civil strife in Thailand with his chiselled good looks. Daijiro Enami, 28, became an overnight sensation after appearing in a video report on the Thai protests while on assignment in Bangkok for Japan’s Fuji Television Network.
Photos of the six-footer in a safety helmet and bulletproof vest spread like wildfire through Thailand's social media, ostensibly cooling tensions as netizens latched onto his good looks to make light conversation.
“Take off your bulletproof vest, I’ll use my body to protect you,” said an admirer with the username Noo Khon Dee on the popular forum Pantip.com. Noo would have to fend off the many others clamouring to be his bodyguard, as another netizen, Stardust Of Ray, confessed a need to “wipe the saliva” after drooling over Daijiro.
One user wanted to help escort him around Thailand “for the sake of international relations”. Forum member Edna Mode even joked that former PM Thaksin Shinawatra had hired him to “divert the situation and cool off (tensions)”. Another forum member named Venusian said she had forgotten about her husband for a moment.
Enami is part of Fuji Television’s FNN Super News, the highest-rated network news programme in Japan for nine consecutive years. He joined the station in 2008, where he accumulated experience on programmes like Tokudane!, a weekday morning news programme, and the sports segment of FNN Super News Weekend.
His clean-cut looks and steely gaze have been compared to CNN’s Anderson Cooper, while his tanned complexion resembles Hong Kong star Louis Koo Tin Lok.
According to the Bangkok Post, Enami interviewed anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban and covered the general election at the Bung Kum district, where caretaker PM Yingluck Shinawatra cast her vote.
Enami’s official biography on the Fuji Television website, where he maintains a blog, is a trove of trivia. His hobbies include sunbathing, mountain hiking and swimming in the sea. He finds razor burns a “difficult subject”, dislikes how his sideburns grow too quickly and he longs to be a playwright.
The former competitive swimmer also enjoys a minor-celebrity status in Japan: He's appeared on the TV shows Room Of King and Ninkyo Helper. A goofy video of his participation in a variety series two years ago, where a playful Daijiro strikes a sexy pose while jumping into a pool – first in a tight swimming trunk and
then in his pajamas – has racked up over 90,000 views in the past week.
Make no mistake about his devotion to the sport: On the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) section of Fuji Television’s website, he outlines his concern over long-distance swimming being “affected by marine pollution and ozone layer depletion”. He has also participated in regular clean-ups of the Tokyo Bay area at Wakasu Seaside Park in Koto.
Netizens have not determined if he's single, but some are hoping to get lucky. An anonymous user on a YouTube video featuring the journalist has even suggested a bond of holy matrimony: “I’m gonna let my mum propose marriage to you!”
Daijiro has so far declined requests for interviews and his only reported reaction to “Enami-mania” was recorded in an article on TV Tokyo Corporation’s website: “It was to have taken place during coverage of demonstration, and feeling is complicated.”
Meanwhile, Thai fans have cause to cheer as Enami is apparently delighted over their acceptance of him, and feels that the attention he's attracted expresses a “unique air of demonstration that we just have in Thailand”.